South Africans urge jabs as president gets sick in omicron wave

JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has postponed a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine because he has tested positive for the disease and is recovering from mild symptoms, his office announced today. Monday.

Ramaphosa is receiving medical treatment for his symptoms and is self-isolating in Cape Town, according to his office.

South Africa’s regulator last week approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be used as a booster shot, paving the way for a third adult dose to combat the current surge caused by the omicron variant. cause.

“The president’s infection is causing him to delay the booster vaccine he was slated to receive this week,” his office said in a statement on Thursday. Two.

Ramaphosa “reiterates its call for everyone in the country to get vaccinated as vaccination significantly reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalization or death,” the statement said.

South Africa’s seven-day average of new daily cases has increased over the past two weeks from 7.6 new cases per 100,000 people on November 28 to 32.7 new cases per 100,000 people on December 12, according to the report. Johns Hopkins University.

Experts say more than 70% of new cases since mid-November are omicrons.

Overall, new omicron cases lead to milder illness, fewer hospitalizations and less severe cases requiring oxygen or intensive care, according to doctors and official figures. Despite the soaring number of cases, the death rate in South Africa has yet to rise, although experts warn it could rise in the coming weeks.

News of Ramaphosa contracting COVID-19 has caused mixed reactions from the public, with some saying they hope it will encourage more people to get vaccinated.

Moreen Mokhethi, 60, of Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, said she hoped that the president’s test positive for COVID-19 would convince people to be more careful about catching the virus.

“I’m worried that a lot of people, like in Tembisa where I live, don’t seem to be scared of the virus anymore. There are a lot of weddings and events right now because it’s the festive season, so the virus (virus) withdraw) will probably spread some more,” Mokhethi said.

Robert Matlala, 28, said he is fully vaccinated, saying he hopes Ramaphosa contracting COVID-19 will encourage more people to get vaccinated.

“I hope some people who don’t take this issue seriously will see that anyone can get it. I recently had my second shot so I feel a little bit safer,” Matlala said.

Ramaphosa, 69, finished a four-country tour in West Africa last week, returning from Senegal on December 8 when the test results came back negative. He tested negative during his Africa tour but several members of his crew had to return home after testing positive for the virus in Nigeria.

His office announced on Sunday that Ramaphosa was unwell and tested positive.


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